Concerned about good governance inspired by the fear of God, the Muslim community of Lagos State has tasked the political class to pursue policies that are not only people-oriented but that also foster efficient management of human and material resources.
The Muslim community made this known at an interactive session organised for governorship candidates of political parties in Lagos State. The event had Muslim clerics from Ikorodu, Epe, Badagry, Ikeja and other parts in Lagos in attendance. Their demands in form of an agenda revolved around seven thematic areas, which include: education, environment, health, women and youths, political matters, judiciary, and economy.
The group appealed to any incoming government irrespective of its political affiliation to imbibe the culture of fairness and equity in the distribution of the state’s resources, adding that this would definitely engender sustainable development in the state.
Noting that the rate of unemployment in the country is so alarming that most university graduates are roaming the streets in search for job, it is therefore said that, the incoming leader in Lagos State should ensure that equal opportunity is given to all and sundry, irrespective of religion or tradition.
The group sought for efficient utilization of the Lagos waterways, provision of railway links, enhancement of agriculture schemes, good health care services, portable water supply, standard education, vocational studies, welfare of teachers among others.
The group said the incoming government must make a very clear policy on freedom of religion and worship, while there should be no religious discrimination or harassment at our public schools.
“Hijab (Islamic Head-tie) must be allowed for willing Muslims students and pupils. However, this must conform with the school standard and adopted school uniform, More importantly, as we are still waiting for the supreme court judgment, we appreciate the State Government decision to uphold the Appeal Court ruling on hijab, but not yet implemented in schools as the tutor generals refused to pass on the circular containing the implementation”.
They requested that state matters should be handled with the recognition that the state is multi-religious , and thus, government activities, appointment and share of benefit to the citizens must reflect this fact at all time, adding that the current imbalances should be corrected.
They stated that the State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board should be reconstituted in consultation with the Grand Chief Imam of Lagos State and President of Muslim Community of Lagos State.
“Establish a Muslim Ummah-Government and Consultative Forum which should meet quarterly for consultation and deliberation on matter and policies affecting or may affect the Muslim Ummah,” he said.
The group said that the need for Sharia court is premised on the fact that personal matters of Muslims are being decided upon by people who know little or nothing about Islamic or sharia laws.
“The constitution of Nigeria provides that the state can establish sharia court but over the years, there is none in Lagos”.
They noted that issues that concern Muslims such as marriage, divorces, inheritance and personal matter could be handled sufficiently in a Sharia court created and presided by the Muslim Judges and jury.
The group posited further to aske the governorship candidate to include more Muslims as judges in Lagos High Court as they alleged lopsided appointment against Muslims Judges in the state.
Also, the group called for more investment in the provision of quality health care facilities and educational opportunities for the teeming youths in the state, noting that health and education are key factors in the development of the people.
The Gubernatorial candidate for All Progressive Congress (APC) Babajide Sanwo Olu and his counterpant in Alliance for Democracy (AD) Owolabi Salisu promised to deliver quality health delivery, pay the minimum wage for workers and be fair and transparent in the management of the state’s resources.
The APC candidate, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, assured that his administration would be fair to them in policy formation, if elected.
Governorship candidate, AD, Owolabi Salis promised to set up a committee to look into that request, adding that religious leaders must continue to speak out against injustice and inequity in the state.
He pledged the commitment of his administration towards meeting the needs of the rural poor in the state if elected into office.